Reorganisation of States: Compulsions & necessities
Reorganisation of States: Compulsions & necessities. Has Andhra Pradesh become indeed ungovernable and uneconomical in its current state of economic,...
Has Andhra Pradesh become indeed ungovernable and uneconomical in its current state of economic, social and political development that bifurcation is the only solution for its betterment and development?
Power is meant to improve governance and efficiency in the system and not otherwise. Has the bifurcation been attempted with proper perspective vision for viable and sustainable overall development of the State or division is only for narrow short run political gain at the peril of overall retrogression as it happened during the last few years after the political announcements particularly from 2009?
If as it has been said that the formation of Telangana is inevitable due to political compulsions at the Centre, can it be a valid justifiable reason? The 12th Plan emphasizes that our first priority must be to bring the economy back to rapid growth while ensuring that the growth is both inclusive and sustainable. If that is the objective, is this the way for reorganization -- where politics devours economics and development -- when human resources and good governance along with public enthusiasm are the real engines of growth.
Whose choice should reorganisation be? People of the land or distantly placed determinants of State’s destiny elsewhere? Has there been adequate financial provision to sustain the bifurcated States? Should we stumble against the same or similar policy stone periodically that leads to greater unrest?
Any scheme of States’ reorganisation should be primarily to promote unity and integrity of the country, to accelerate the growth of human and economic development, to maximize net social and economic advantage of the society, to increase administrative convenience, reduce administrative costs, and facilitate better governance and such salutary objectives. Most important, the reorganized States should be financially sounder and self-sufficient to provide a better and richer life to the citizenry than in the erstwhile State.
In Part II of Report of the States Reorganization Commission (SRC) 1955, titled “Factors Bearing on Reorganization”, the Commission clearly said that “it is neither possible nor desirable to reorganise States on the basis of the single test of either language or culture, but that a balanced approach to the whole problem is necessary in the interest of our national unity. One of the proposals was to reorganize the state on the basis of languages of India. This would make administration easier, and would help replace the caste and religion-based identities with less controversial linguistic identities.
The committee, comprising Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramayya, known as JVP Report said on April 1, 1949, "if public sentiment is insistent and overwhelming, we, as democrats, have to submit to it, but subject to certain limitations in regard to the good of India as a whole". If so, what has been the situation in AP since the announcement of bifurcation decision and what is the unequivocal demand of the people at large?
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi impassioned observations made in the Parliament in 1972 are still relevant and make sense than ever before.
Now, regardless of any agreement we all know that even within a family there are differences and disputes. Relatively backward and advanced areas exist not only in all States but in different regions of the same State. In the Andhra region many members have drawn attention to areas such as Rayalaseema and Srikakulam. The Telangana region may be backward region but it does have better-off areas.
Merely because an area is comparatively backward is not reason enough for taking drastic or irreversible decisions. Where will this process end? I am not at all afraid of this being catching; that is not the point. But where does any one draw the line? Will each district want to be separated? Some people have advised the division of UP. Where to divide? Into two, three, four, into how many areas do you divide it? Do you go back to the old, very small States, princely States; do you go back to that? Somewhere a line has to be drawn. You cannot just say that because of backwardness there should be division.
Economic backwardness can go only through hard work and the effort of the entire nation. Backwardness is really a general problem and it is a part of the much larger problem of poverty itself. “…all these matters have to be thought of not in terms of emotions but in terms of calm and collective thought. And not in terms of today, or tomorrow or the day after but of what it will mean to them and the country ten years hence, 20 years hence, a hundred years hence.” Do we need further elaboration or rationalisation on this issue?
Regional disparity is a ubiquitous phenomenon in both developed and developing economies. Multiple creations of States will not solve the problems of poverty, backwardness and regional disparities. But poverty any where in the country is a grave danger to prosperity everywhere.
Whether the concept of small is beautiful is still relevant in terms of good governance when distances between places are being annihilated, thanks to technological progress. This has to be examined afresh. So, the third tier Federation created by the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution should be made use of to counter divisive tendencies and promote development from below through participatory planning.
Illusions about the emergence of a heaven on earth that can resolve all mundane problems with the creation of new States can be dispelled with the publication of a fact sheet. Moreover, ever since the 1956 re-organisation of States, several inter-State disputes have come up before the Supreme Court for adjudication, mostly on water allocation or boundary settlement and awaiting solutions.